It is alleged that the police are also asking for information and records from other VICE employees as well. Shirdon is already facing multiple charges, for threatening attacks against Canada, and more. The RCMP has already issued a Red Notice through INTERPOL for Shirdon and it is claimed that some of the charges against Shirdon rely on information from interviews that was conducted between him and Makuch.
VICE is fighting back against the demands however, arguing that the seizure of journalists’ work will amount to infringement on freedom of the press. “Journalists aren’t an on-call branch of law enforcement,” said Nick Taylor-Vaisey, president of the Canadian Association of Journalists. “Fighting terrorism by serving journalists with production orders and silencing them with gag orders for months on end violates Canada’s freedom of the press and is a waste of police resources,” he contends.
Head of content for VICE Canada, Patrick McGuire, has also said that complying with the demands from the RCMP would undermine the independence of Canadian journalism from state authorities. “Sources should be able to speak with journalists without fearing that the cops will turn around and try and request the records of those conversations,… We are not here to assist the RCMP with their work,” said McGuire. The argument will heat-up next week, as the case is expected to make it to court on Monday.